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After year off, Gardens of the Hills tour is back

Popular El Dorado Hills event returns June 5 and 6

Garden scene with white daisies, purple flowers, shrubs and lawn
The Gardens of the Hills tour will feature six showstopper gardens in El Dorado Hills. Proceeds benefit homeless and disadvantaged children in the county. (Photos courtesy Assistance League - Sierra Foothills)

Tickets are now on sale for a popular tour, raising money for a good cause while also showcasing some gorgeous gardens.

Presented by the Assistance League – Sierra Foothills, Gardens of the Hills returns after a year hiatus due to COVID. Proceeds go toward helping homeless and disadvantaged children in El Dorado County.

On June 5 and 6, six spectacular private gardens in the El Dorado Hills area will be open for tours.

What makes this event so special are all the extras set in those beautiful landscapes. Besides flowers, this garden tour is packed with fun.

The tour stops will include pop-up boutiques, wine tasting, food trucks, family fun and the event’s signature raffle. Find “Nutmeg the Squirrel” at each stop for entry in a special raffle.

Each stop also features special surprises. During the 2019 tour, that included a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party attended by Alice and her Wonderland friends.

New this year, the league will host an online “Gardens of Smiles” auction, featuring donated items to further help this effort. The auction is open June 1-7; find it at .

Tour hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 6.

Tickets are $30; $10 for children age 12 and younger. They’re available at several locations, including Green Acres Nursery & Supply in Folsom, California Welcome Center and Pottery World in El Dorado Hills, Ace Hardware in Cameron Park and El Dorado Nursery in Shingle Springs.

Or order them online at .

Tea party characters
At the 2019 tour, the Mad Hatter and other Wonderland friends
popped in.


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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